Religion and International Politics in the Twenty-First Century
If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.
—Seneca the Younger
Over at least the past four decades, religion has regained a place in the public scene. All evidence would indicate that this trend will continue in international relations, as in other areas. In the months that this book was being written, religion was used as a pretext to explain, justify, or glorify political and military confrontations in Mali, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, and even Ukraine. It has been a central feature of the “Arab Spring,” and it continues to play a dramatic role in those countries where revolutions have been abortive: Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain. Libya, for its part, remains a hotbed of potential trouble for the entire region, where mujahidin—who are as zealous as they are heavily and richly armed—are ready to place their capital of “holy wars” at the service of one interest or another, either local or international....
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